Associated Press

Frustrated James Harden: “You can’t have two officials” for NBA game

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During pregame warmups Thursday night in Boston, referee Mark Lindsay hurt his back. He couldn’t go for the game, leaving two officials — Tony Brothers and Gediminas Petraitis — for a nationally televised showdown between the Celtics and Rockets.

All night long both teams were frustrated with the officiating — Boston coach Brad Stevens picked up a rare technical arguing a call — but James Harden was called for two offensive fouls against Marcus Smart in the final 7.3 seconds, which helped the Celtics secure a come-from-behind 99-98 win.

[nbcsports_video, src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/OCh6-eSRJwA width=651 height=366]

After the game, Harden vented about there only being two officials.

In the first half, Harden had 17 points on 10 shots and got basically what he wanted where he wanted it on the floor. In the second half, Boston stopped switching picks-and-rolls on Harden, got more physical with him (especially Smart), denied the ball, and while Harden had 17 points again in the half he was 3-of-17 shooting getting there. It worked. And in a game with two officials and less stuff being seen, Boston adapted to the situation and Harden did not.

Harden has a point about two officials in an NBA game, but that wasn’t the issue in the final seconds.

On those two final offensive foul calls, referee Tony Brothers is right there, less than 10 feet away — those calls had nothing to do with there only being two officials on the court. Those were calls Brothers had a clean look at and called against Harden. Smart was physical, he was denying the ball and grabbing some jersey, but Harden extended his arm in both cases, and that is going to get the foul called almost every time. Without Chris Paul the Rockets didn’t have another option to get the ball to for the final seconds, Boston knew it and played it well.

Remember, if your team blows a 26-point lead in the third quarter, the loss isn’t on the officiating.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.